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Appropriate Attire for a Skilled Trades Interview

April 18th, 2012

Many people struggle with what to wear for many occasions in life. Traditional wisdom dictates that business suits and business dresses are always the right choice for job interviews. However, for every rule there is an exception. There are some careers and industries where business-formal dress is a little over the top for the job in question. If you’re planning an interview for a skilled trade job, you want to dress accordingly for the occasion. Here are a few tips to help you dress for success for this particular interview.

Ditch the Three-Piece Suit

There’s no need to be quite as formal when interviewing for a skilled trades job. It should be the quality of your work that speaks volumes about you. A solid portfolio will make the point much better than a business suit or sports coat ever could. More importantly, you’re probably not at all comfortable in business suits – and you need to feel as comfortable as possible in the interview process.

Ladies, you can get rid of the dress and heels. There’s no need for them. Other attire options will be a much better fit for the position to which you’re applying. It will also make it easier for you to be treated like one of the guys.

Keep it Casual, but Professional

While that might sound like a contradiction, there is method to the madness. You don’t want to go into the interview looking like you slept in your clothes. It’s a good idea to go for the “business casual” look that has you wearing a nice pair of khaki pants and a nicely ironed button-up shirt. Don’t forget to wear a nice pair of shoes, which does not mean your best tennis shoes.

Women might opt for a pair of slacks and a professional looking top or blouse. Choose shoes that match the professional look of the slacks and shirt you’ve selected. Flats, dress boots or loafers are a good idea.

If the interview has been arranged through a recruiting agency, don’t hesitate to ask the recruiter what the recommended attire for the interview would be. They have a better understanding of the specific client performing the interview and what attire might get the best results with that client.

The point is to look professional without going over the top. You don’t want to look completely out of place but you also don’t want to look like you’re not taking the interview process seriously. Dressing the proper way for the interview shows the person conducting the interview that you take yourself, your talent, and this interview seriously.


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